The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound)
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benbenkr

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And what's this of comparing the O2 amp to the Modi DAC and E17 DAC/amp combo? You can't compare an O2 to a Modi. That's like comparing a car to a gas station.

It would be super convenient for me if the E17 was as technically capable as a Modi or more expensive DAC, but it sounds too good to be true and your statements above seem jumbled up, so I have to take them with a grain of salt.
 
Sorry, need to clarify some stuff.
 
My mistake on the Modi using USB for power.
Also, I don't know why I was mixing up the O2 for the ODAC, again my complete mistake. I was genuinely multi-tasking when I was typing that post.
 
But I do think the E17 shouldn't be compared to the ODAC and Modi directly because they cater to different sound signatures. I mean, the E17 is just a warmer DAC than both the ODAC and Modi. That much is true.
 
Sorry again for my mistakes.
 
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MrEleventy

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You are using a sound card, an amplifier, AND a DAC and I'm wondering how common this is. I'm currently running with just an eclaro sound card and am looking into getting an amp but never considered getting a DAC as well. It seems like you're having problems and I'm wondering if this is an issue with anyone else doing the triple combo?
What Avro said. I'm technically using all 3 as well (NFB12 is a dac/amp all in one). I think a lot of us here have dacs for the musical portion as dac performance isn't as important in game but pretty vital for music. If you only game and occasionally listen to music, dac isn't as big of a deal.
 
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genclaymore

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Even if all ever did was gaming, I would still end up with a setup similar to what I have now including the not mentioned DGX for it Dolby headphone function. As I would always want my money worth do to my past or getting screwed with gaming marketed headphones or 7.1 headphones.
 
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GoldenboyXD

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What Avro said. I'm technically using all 3 as well (NFB12 is a dac/amp all in one). I think a lot of us here have dacs for the musical portion as dac performance isn't as important in game but pretty vital for music. If you only game and occasionally listen to music, dac isn't as big of a deal.
 
I like this post so i quoted it. I usually use my PC for gaming and some music and also thinking of buying an AMP only or AMP+DAC... I use a X-Fi card with optical out and analog line out. Should i buy the E17 for an AMP+DAC combo via optical or just and AMP (O2 or Magni) via analog line out? 
 
I think it's not best to use a USB DAC like ODAC to AMP due to USB connection and may have some latency issues in gaming???
 
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Sorry, need to clarify some stuff.
...
Thanks for clarification, I wasn't trying to be a moderator, I was just genuinely confused and didn't know what to make of it. Also I was super-sleepy, like fading out and realizing I had scrolled down and clicked on Amazon links tired.
 
Sennheiser Stay updated on Sennheiser at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/SennheiserUSA https://twitter.com/SennheiserUSA http://www.instagram.com/sennheiser https://sennheiser.com/
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post-10483830
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Stillhart

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I like this post so i quoted it. I usually use my PC for gaming and some music and also thinking of buying an AMP only or AMP+DAC... I use a X-Fi card with optical out and analog line out. Should i buy the E17 for an AMP+DAC combo via optical or just and AMP (O2 or Magni) via analog line out?
 
I think it's not best to use a USB DAC like ODAC to AMP due to USB connection and may have some latency issues in gaming???
The problem with using a USB DAC is not latency, it's that you lose your virtual surround sound.
 
FWIW, I've been slowly upgrading my rig.  I started with getting the Q701.  Then upgrade from onboard sound to an external sound card.  Then added an amp.  And now I've got an optical DAC coming.  The biggest change was the headphones.  Changing the the sound card gave me virtual surround, though not a lot of games I play on PC use it well.  The amp made my headphones sound a lot better.  I'm curious how much the DAC will help.
 
Before each upgrade, i was happy with what I had.  After each upgrade, I realized I was missing something before and I was really happy I'd done it.  Either way I was happy so take that for what it's worth.  lol
 
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MrEleventy

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The problem with using a USB DAC is not latency, it's that you lose your virtual surround sound.

FWIW, I've been slowly upgrading my rig.  I started with getting the Q701.  Then upgrade from onboard sound to an external sound card.  Then added an amp.  And now I've got an optical DAC coming.  The biggest change was the headphones.  Changing the the sound card gave me virtual surround, though not a lot of games I play on PC use it well.  The amp made my headphones sound a lot better.  I'm curious how much the DAC will help.

Before each upgrade, i was happy with what I had.  After each upgrade, I realized I was missing something before and I was really happy I'd done it.  Either way I was happy so take that for what it's worth.  lol
Actually, it's not latency nor do you lose surround sound. It just doesn't sound as good. There's a method to feed the already processed audio into a usb dac, on a SB card, it's "What U Hear". I tried it, out of curiosity. You get a lower fidelity feed. The audio is fuzzier, low res instead of being clear.
 
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GoldenboyXD

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Actually, it's not latency nor do you lose surround sound. It just doesn't sound as good. There's a method to feed the already processed audio into a usb dac, on a SB card, it's "What U Hear". I tried it, out of curiosity. You get a lower fidelity feed. The audio is fuzzier, low res instead of being clear.
 
Thanks for the input. So the best method if will be using a DAC would be using the optical out from Sound Card/Onboard audio to DAC optical input (if available) and output to AMP or just get an AMP connected directly from analog line out of Sound Card/Onboard audio?
 
The only budget wise AMP/DAC that i know of are the E17s and SMSLs... and the new Schiit Modi with optical input...
 
EDIT: Magni to Modi. Confused with the Schiit products. lol
 
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MrEleventy

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The FS threads here is a great asset if you have to time to stalk it. I picked up my NFB12 for under $150 and it works and sounds great. Other than that... yeah, it's tough to find something feature packed for a low price.

FYI : Magni is an amp and does not have an optical input. Just RCAs. Modi does, but it's a dac only. Volume control would be strictly OS based.
 
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Stillhart

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Actually, it's not latency nor do you lose surround sound. It just doesn't sound as good. There's a method to feed the already processed audio into a usb dac, on a SB card, it's "What U Hear". I tried it, out of curiosity. You get a lower fidelity feed. The audio is fuzzier, low res instead of being clear.
Deleted my smarmy defensive response.  Trying again:
 
You're not doing a very good job of proving me wrong when you say that you CAN get surround to a USB DAC, but ONLY if you use a specific brand of sound card and a feature that sounds like crap.
 
For all practical purposes, the only way to get quality virtual surround to a DAC is via optical.  Unless there's somethign else I'm missing...?
 
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GoldenboyXD

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I always get confused with the Schiit stacks. lol. Let me edit my post... Thanks. Hopefully i'll see some good deals soon. 
 
 
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genclaymore

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  Deleted my smarmy defensive response.  Trying again:
 
You're not doing a very good job of proving me wrong when you say that you CAN get surround to a USB DAC, but ONLY if you use a specific brand of sound card and a feature that sounds like crap.
 
For all practical purposes, the only way to get quality virtual surround to a DAC is via optical.  Unless there's somethign else I'm missing...?

Razer surround software is one option that will do it
 
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post-10484003
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benbenkr

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Razer surround software is one option that will do it
 
Yes, but Razer's surround has like the worst rear cues in any virtual surround solution. It's unusable IMO. They have a good concept and if they can actually improve on this, then hey, goodbye Creative, THX and Dolby.
 
Their simple implementation is what I like, but it's of no use if it doesn't work.
 
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MrEleventy

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Deleted my smarmy defensive response.  Trying again:
Cool, because I was in no way intending to offend. Cooler heads have prevailed. :) :beerchug:

You're not doing a very good job of proving me wrong when you say that you CAN get surround to a USB DAC, but ONLY if you use a specific brand of sound card and a feature that sounds like crap.

For all practical purposes, the only way to get quality virtual surround to a DAC is via optical.  Unless there's somethign else I'm missing...?
He already has the SB card, so he has the ability to do it. I wasn't trying to prove you wrong, merely inform him that it's still an option. And when you're cash strapped, some options is better than none. Decent USB dacs are inexpensive so he'll still be able to have a good setup for music and still can game from it. It's not ideal but not everyone can afford ideal.
 
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Stillhart

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Cool, because I was in no way intending to offend. Cooler heads have prevailed.

He already has the SB card, so he has the ability to do it. I wasn't trying to prove you wrong, merely inform him that it's still an option. And when you're cash strapped, some options is better than none. Decent USB dacs are inexpensive so he'll still be able to have a good setup for music and still can game from it. It's not ideal but not everyone can afford ideal.
 
Yeah, I hear that.  I've spent a lot of money on this hobby so far and it's just for "entry level" mid-fi stuff.
 
Speaking as someone who's been looking for a decent, cheap optical DAC for sveral weeks now, I think that the Modi is going to be your best (cheapest) bet if you want to buy new.  If you don't care about surround in gaming, or you can get the USB method mentioned above working, there are plenty of solid USB DAC options.  Maybe a used Dragonfly 1.0?
 
I'll echo the recommendation to stalk the classifieds here for good deals.  I snagged a Fiio E11 portable amp for free (plus shipping) last week.  Also keep an eye on the Deals thread.
 
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